21-year-old man arrested for abusing one-year-old son


Police in Aizumi, Tokushima Prefecture, have arrested a 21-year-old unemployed man on suspicion of abusing his one-year-old son by throwing him to the floor. 

According to police, Ryuji Kobayashi threw his second-oldest son to the floor at their apartment at around 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, Fuji TV reported. The boy suffered a fractured skull and bleeding of the brain. He was taken to hospital and is in a coma, doctors said.

Police said Kobayashi’s 20-year-old wife was out working at a part-time job at the time and when she returned home on Saturday night, she heard the child crying in his futon. After that, he lost consciousness and she called 119.

The hospital notified a child welfare center on Sunday morning about a case of possible child abuse and the center called police.

Police said Kobayashi has admitted to the charge but has so far given not motive.

The couple also has a three-year-old son but he was not injured, police said.

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Send him to jail and don't let him out.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

What an awful man.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Attempted murder. Bang him up for life.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If only this man had gotten help before he lost his temper and did the unthinkable. Poor baby, poor wife, poor family.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The wife was pregnant at 16 and again at 19...must not be any birth control available in Tokushima. And both too stupid to learn from their first mistake.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

If only this man had gotten help before he lost his temper 

Anyone who would violently assault/attempt to kill a baby in this way, fracturing his scull and causing bleeding on the brain is beyond help. Pure SCUM , psychopathic and evil.

This child abuser needs to be jailed for life. I wish the animal endless misery for the rest of his short life.

I hope the poor innocent baby can somehow pull through this.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Send him to jail and don't let him out

Well said, Aly

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Terrible man, first problem UNEMPLOYED 2nd problem young parents 2 children. Sad situation all around the wife is young working a part time job. The children were already born poor. At least the mom had a job if the dad didn't have a job but had kids at such a young age it looks like both of their lives would be struggling. Thats the future of most young kids who become parents at a young age with out their parents support they are basically struggling and the children suffer.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There is no excuse for what he did. I would add that in Japan there is very little support for children financially especially during this pandemic. I really hope the child is OK.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Right, because it's so easy to call people monsters AFTER the fact, than to try to reach them before! It might feel good to throw sh*t on the person responsible for ghastly acts like this, but wouldn't society's collective energy be better spent trying to prevent them from happening?

You make a good point, Lisa. We see so much after-the-fact howling here. But whatever punishment we hand out to the perpetrator, it won't help the victim. We should perhaps ask ourselves, "What did I do to stop it?"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fortunately, the infant brain is very plastic and this child will likely fully recover physically. Dad never will recover emotionally. Unemployed, multiple children, frustrated and unhappy, and he just lost control for a moment. But, he will regret this, and live with this, the rest of his life, would be my guess. These kinds of situations are so sad and destructive for everyone in them. He may dearly love his children but he may never be allowed to be with them again. As for condemnation, my condemnation of him in his loss of control would be equivalent to his condemnation of his child's lack of control, completely unjustified in that I am also a Human and understand that what happened to him and his child can happen to ANY Humans on this planet and does. People who never for a moment would expect equivalent behavior such as this from themselves, or be suspected of such capability, can find themselves completely in extremis and, impulsively, destroy their own lives. Any of us. So, instead, mourn for him the loss of his children, mourn for the children for the loss of their father, and mourn for all the rest of us who must live with all of that which is, sadly, Human. Pain, so much pain...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@William Bjornson

I’ll mourn for the children. I’ll grieve for the wife. But to compare the act of a fully-grown adult smashing a baby on the floor with the actions of a child is disingenuous. His loss of control is NOT equivalent to a child’s loss of control. When a child lashes out, we forgive because we understand that the child is not fully responsible for its own actions. The same CANNOT be said for an adult man. He is an adult, legally and morally responsible for his own actions, and to compare his actions to a childish outburst strips him of any agency in his own actions, and this absolves him of them by way of “oh, it was just a momentary outburst. Who can blame him? We all have our moments”. He will be punished and perhaps forever separated from his children not by some cruel twist of fate, but because - and I cannot stress this enough - he actively chose to smash his own flesh and blood into the floor with such force that it fractured his skull, and then chose to leave the child on a futon and do absolutely nothing.

I think you forget that HE wasn’t the one who called the ambulance. His WIFE did. He left this poor child wounded and wailing on a futon until the mother returned home. If this was just an unfortunate mistake, why didn’t he call the ambulance himself once he’d realized what he’d done? How long would that child have sat there if the mother had been held up in traffic or stayed late at work? These aren’t the actions of someone who lashed out in a rage and immediately felt remorse.

3 ( +5 / -2 )


The problem with 'mindless condemnation' is that the problems being so happily condemned NEVER GET FIXED! People are pleased to mouth off in judgemental ways without ANY THOUGHT whatsoever as to WHY these things happen and WHAT we can do about them except wring our hands and say how terrible THAT person is for expressing Mankind's most ubiquitous impulse, the urge to destroy. And most of the time, the accusers know nothing of what may lurk in their own hearts given a sufficiently engaging situation nor remember their own acts of irrationality in the past. YES, it's a child. All over this planet, we (Humanity) murder children in the most horrific premeditated ways and the people who do this are our 'heroes'. Yet, here we become almost tongue-tied with judgemental criticisms rather than trying to understand WHY this can happen to a Human if, for no other reason, as a warning to ourselves. This man is now under a mountain of pig manure and will suffer for this, no doubt. But, what about the next and the next and the next...those are the ones we should be thinking about and condemning those who ignore the issue until times like these. Yes! It's a baby, and child abuse is the lowest form of Human behavior. But child abuse is a 'pandemic' in Humanity and a CURE would be worth an infinity of criticism but we'd rather exercise our outrage than our reason. Good on ya...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tragic. Children don’t asked to be born. They sure as hell don’t ask to be born to a repugnant father.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

We should perhaps ask ourselves, "What did I do to stop it?"

Unbelievable. It is almost as though you are saying society is partially to blame for this psychopath child-abusers behaviour.

The best thing society can do is pressure judges and politicians to give these psychopaths REAL sentences and punishment, so they no longer have any exposure to any child. Not just 7 years for murdering a toddler as we saw recently.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The stressors of raising a child are never easy and are often overwhelming. But I could never imagine hurting a child like this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Right, because it's so easy to call people monsters AFTER the fact, than to try to reach them before! It might feel good to yell, MONSTER! at the person responsible for ghastly acts like this, but wouldn't society's collective energy be better spent trying to prevent them from happening?"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@William Bjornson

You can shout all you like, but let me address you directly. The fact you are grasping this desperately for a 'why', for some reason why this man did what he did, smacks of fishing for a justification, an excuse. Your wild searching, to me, feels very much like those people who want there to have been a man on the grassy knoll. You're in search of some explanation, but you're doing all that searching partially to blind yourself to the real explanation - sometimes, there is no deeper why. Sometimes there isn't some deep-rooted societal ill at the heart of someone's actions. The horrible, dreadful truth - the one you seem to be grasping at any straw to avoid grappling with - is that sometimes bad people do bad things for no other reason than because they are bad. Society didn't make this man abuse his son. He didn't bash his child on the floor because of "Mankind's most ubiquitous impulse". There was no 'disease of humanity' infecting his brain that forced his hand. He was a bad person who did a bad thing because it's what bad people do.

You go on and on about how this is some 'pandemic', about how we all have dark impulses or lash out in anger. But let me clue you in on something. Most people, while they can and do sometimes have outbursts, do not attempt to kill a defenseless child. Someone getting pissed and putting a hole in the drywall or smashing a mirror is not a moral equivalent to attempted murder. Most people don't brain children on the floor because most people understand that regardless of how mad we are, regardless of what 'society' or 'human nature' or whatever may or may not be 'driving' us to do, that there is NEVER a justification for something like that. NEVER. No excuse. NONE. Your search for deeper meaning only serves to try and justify this man's actions, whether you intend it that way or not.

When Yua Funato's mother was sentenced to 8 years in prison for failing to stop her husband from abusing their child to death, I was the first person to contend that she was just as much a victim as a perpetrator; that her fear of her husband was real and justified; that abused people often act in ways people in healthy relationships cannot understand. I was angry that Yua Funato's father only got 5 more years in prison that she did, despite him having beaten a child to death. But I NEVER questioned the fact that she was sentenced to prison or suggested that her circumstances could be seen as justification for not helping her daughter. Her circumstances - which were far more dire than this 21-year-old's - no matter how bad they were, were not enough to excuse her inaction.

There is no deeper meaning here. There is no grand conspiracy of society and biology at play in this case. It was a terrible man who was not in control of himself who did a terrible thing because he could.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As long as we continue to believe that "bad people do bad things for no other reason than because they are bad," then we're powerless to prevent them from happening, and they will just happen again & again.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Lisa Twaronite

You can't prevent them all. The best you can do is punish the offender, make sure they can't repeat their actions, and hope that punishment will deter others from doing the same. As you say, sometimes we're powerless to prevent bad things from occurring. That's just the nature of life. People here wring their hands talking about how we should be doing more to prevent things like this from happening, so my question is this

What would you have done to prevent this?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ReynardFox, I agree with you that people who break the law should be punished to deter others (whether the Japanese legal system is fair for everyone is a question I won't get into, because I at least agree with the principle). As far as outreach beforehand, Japan should do more to identify families at risk and proactively reach out to them, and connect them with services. We don't know much from this article, but we can tell just from the age of their older child that this couple first became parents when they were still teenagers, We don't know if the man suffered from some kind of mental illness -- that wouldn't excuse what he did, of course, but helping such people BEFORE they take the horrible step is far superior to taking action only after. And generally speaking, I think (based on my own unscientific observations of Japan) that troubled people in general are unlikely to seek help on their own for fear of stigma and shame, so that should change, too. Everyone should be encouraged to seek parenting classes and counseling as needed. This father unquestionably did something ghastly to his son -- we don't know much more than that. Is he an unrepentant sociopath, or a just a weak, immature person who did something stupid and impulsive for which he will suffer for the rest of his life, and which cost his son's life? In the case of the former, there were likely signs beforehand that the father was dangerous, and the wife should had the resources and options to keep herself and her children safe. In the case of the latter, we'll never know if perhaps a bit more support could have gone a long way.

I comment a lot here on posts about parents (usually mothers) who do the unthinkable, because decades ago, I suffered from undiagnosed post-partum depression and really struggled when my own kids were babies. I also once faced an unwanted pregnancy in Japan, and was told that I couldn't get an abortion without the father's permission -- I fortunately miscarried, but I believe I can relate to women who feel trapped in crisis pregnancies. Where other people see monsters in most of these parents, I always think, "There but for the grace of god go I," because I had the resources to find help myself. It's true that some people are beyond help, but I believe it's always worth TRYING. (Thank you for listening to my TED talk!)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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